Cricket-Ponting not in race to be India coach despite being approached

  • Cricket
  • Thursday, 23 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: Former player and TV pundit Ricky Ponting before the start of the second Ashes test in 2023 . Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Australia great Ricky Ponting was sounded out for the India head coach's role but the 49-year-old said he is not in the race to succeed Rahul Dravid in that high-profile job.

The India cricket board has advertised the job as Dravid's contract expires at the end of the T20 World Cup next month and the former India captain is reportedly reluctant to carry on.

Ponting has been the head coach of the Delhi franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2018 and also filled in as Australia's T20 coach on an interim basis in the past.

"...there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it," Ponting told the International Cricket Council on Thursday.

"I'd love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home...

"Everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can't be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well."

Ponting said being head coach of a national side would entail being away for 10-11 months a year, which "just doesn't fit into my lifestyle right now".

Several other IPL coaches are also in the reckoning for what is one of the most demanding roles in the game.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who has been the mentor of Kolkata Knight Riders, is a strong contender having guided the franchise to the final of the 10-team league this season.

Lucknow Super Giants coach Justin Langer and his Chennai Super Kings counterpart Stephen Fleming, both with strong credentials, are also being linked to the job by the Indian media.

Ponting said his son was open to him taking up the job and temporarily shifting to a cricket-mad India.

"That's how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn't exactly fit into my lifestyle."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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